FIX: MacBook Pro Speaker Crackling or Not Working

Users are complaining about the MacBook Pro crackling sound coming from the speakers. The Pro model users have shared that the speakers have stopped working after a macOS update. There are many reasons why the speakers are not working correctly. We cannot take the faulty hardware suspicion out of the equation.

MacBook Pro

What’s the reason behind MacBook Pro cracking sound in the speakers?

We can draw a few conclusions, but it won’t do any good for you. The latest macOS software might be causing the crackling sound or inadequate sound in the Pro model. I have shared a few valid reasons why the speakers sound bad.

Torn Speaker Surround:

I want to keep the faulty speaker on the top of the list. A bad-sounding speaker indicates that there’s something wrong with the hardware. The surround might have torn after several months or years of usage. MacBook speakers are expensive since they are made from premium materials. I don’t recommend DIY repairs unless you know what you are doing. Check out the solution if you don’t want to visit the Apple service center to replace the internal speakers.

Software Bugs:

The early stable macOS releases have bugs, glitches, and unknown problems in the software. I mean, it’s common for the latest operating system to have shortcomings, and the in-house developers take time to fix the issues. I have suggested a few solutions below, and you can counter the latest macOS software problems.

Over Utilized Hardware Resources:

Many new consumers consider macOS as invincible software. I applaud Apple for optimizing the macOS software, but it has limitations. You should utilize the hardware resources smartly and prevent overload on the CPU, GPU, and other components. Put your Pro model in CPU-intensive tasks to the point where it can handle them. Apple allows the users to upgrade the internal components such as memory and storage. Upgrade the memory if it’s running out during the intensive tasks.

Incorrect Audio Sample Rate:

You may have set an incorrect audio sample rate in the Pro model. The internal speakers are working fine, but an unsupported sample rate might be creating crackling noise. I have increased the sample rate many times, but I have powerful external speakers. The external speakers can handle the higher audio sample rate much better when compared to the internal ones.

Sound Effects:

I have installed many sound effects programs on the notebook and desktop. Headphone users love the audio enhancers, but it’s a nightmare for the internal speakers. Manufacturers have tweaked the notebook audio system for stable audio output. The audio enhancers push the hardware to test, and it ends up sounding like crackling noise.

Bugged Audio Console:

The audio driver or software might have bugs or glitches. The crackling noise or the inadequate sound results in bugs or glitches in the audio console.

FIX: MacBook Pro Speaker Crackling or Not Working

We are not performing any risky solutions to bring the speakers back to their glory days. However, I ask you to back up the MacBook Pro data in iCloud or an external drive. I don’t want the users to risk the data and suffer from data loss later down the line.

Restart MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro stays on standby mode for weeks and months. Most Pro model owners are coming from a production background, and it’s messy work. Standby mode is a convenient feature, but you should shut down the notebook from time to time.

1. Click on the Apple logo.

2. The drop-down menu appears, then click on the “Restart” option.

3. A pop-up appears on the screen.

4. Click on the “Restart” button.

Let your notebook restart, and it will load the software, including drivers, services, and third-party programs. Shut down the Pro machine for an hour, and the notebook discharges the electricity from the internal components.

Restart CoreAudio

Intel-based Pro variants are having disturbances in the internal speakers. CoreAudio is the audio console in the macOS system, and you can restart the service from the activity monitor. A quick restart should have resolved the problem, but you can perform the solution when the issue persists.

1. Click on the Launchpad.

2. Find the “Utilities” folder and reveal the folder.

3. Click on the “Terminal” from the folder.

4. Enter the (sudo killall coreaudiod) command in the Terminal.

5. Let the macOS system initiate the command.

The sound system goes offline, and you have to wait until the software restores the audio. Restart the Pro notebook when the audio is not back online.

Switch Audio Sample Rate

The audio sample rate may fix the problem temporarily because we have seen the cracking/popping noise problem in El Capitan, Big Sur, and other major releases in the past. Let me show you how to switch the audio sample rate.

1. Click on the Launchpad.

2. Find the “Utilities” folder and reveal the folder.

3. Find “MIDI” and launch it.

4. The “Audio Devices” window appears on the screen.

5. Choose “Built-in Output” from the list.

6. Click on the “Format” to reveal the options.

7. Find 48.0kHz from the options.

8. Select “2 ch 32-bit float” under 48.0kHz.

You have successfully selected the 48.0kHz audio sample rate in the MacBook Pro. Your notebook should produce good sound and prevent cracking or popping sound from the internal speakers.

Buy External Speakers

Many have complained about the cracking or popping sound from the built-in speakers in the past. Sound problems have been a common issue for a long time. I suggest the readers purchase a pair of high-quality speakers from the market. You can choose any manufacturer like Logitech.

There are many reasons why I’m suggesting the readers buy external speakers.

1. There is a high probability of faulty speakers. Apple service center may charge you a premium price on the replacement parts and labor. Of course, you can get the replacement components for free if the Pro model is under warranty.

You can save a lot of money on repair costs by opting for Logitech external speakers. The Swiss manufacturer offers two years warranty on all products, and they will replace the faulty product for free. We are not affiliated with Logitech.

2. We cannot put up with macOS shortcomings all the time. Who wants to wait for the manufacturer to release an update to resolve the issue?

3. External speakers sound great, and you have flexibility to choose from models to models.

I own a pair of external speakers, and I will upgrade the existing ones. A good pair of high-quality external speakers can change the mood, and ambiance.

Reset NVRAM in macOS

NVRAM stands for Non-Volatile Access Memory. NVRAM memorizes your last saved settings in the system, and that’s how the notebook remembers the brightness level. Resetting the NVRAM deletes the customized settings like brightness, startup disk selection, resolution, volume, etc. It takes less than two minutes to readjust the settings. I don’t see any harm in performing the reset.

1. Turn off the MacBook.

2. Press the Power button on the keyboard.

3. Press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys together.

4. Hold the keys for twenty seconds.

5. Release the keys after twenty seconds.

6. macOS has reset the NVRAM.

Login into the machine as usual and start with fixing the clock. Launch the browser, and listen to music from YouTube. Launch the music streaming app from the dock, and listen to a couple of tracks.

Reset SMC (Non-Removable Battery)

SMC stands for System Management Controller, and it’s the last resort. A messed-up SMC can cause system problems such as higher fan speed, thermal issues, battery management, hardware issues, bugs, etc. The operating system may have minor bugs and glitches, and let’s reset SMC to fix the cracking speaker issue. The tutorial is for MacBook Pro (non-removable battery) equipped with Intel and AMD internals. The M1 chip notebooks are a different story. Read the official website spec sheet whether your MacBook Pro has the Apple T2 Security Chip.
1. Turn off the MacBook.
2. Press and hold the Power button for ten seconds, then release the button.
3. Let Mac boot up and restart the machine.
Shut down the Pro computer if it doesn’t work.
4. Press the right Shift key.
5. Press the left Option key.
6. Press the Control key.
7. Hold all keys together for another seven seconds.
8. The Pro notebook boots up, then turn off as you keep holding the keys.
9. Release all keys.
10. Wait for a few seconds.
Thirty seconds is the suggested time.
11. Restart the MacBook.

SMC (System Management Controller) is the last resort, and you have to wait Apple to address the problem. Wait for the next macOS update.

Downgrade macOS

Moving to the latest Apple desktop-class operating system has perks and disadvantages. But, it’s not an essential upgrade for average users and business people. Security is a decision-making factor, but you should wait for a couple of months for Apple to fix the early bugs and glitches. I’m running macOS Big Sur when the latest version is available in the software update section.

Bottom Line

Go to the Apple certified engineers and confirm the MacBook Pro speaker crackling or not working issue. I would purchase a pair of high-quality external speakers or soundbar since they serve the purpose and save me from having the machine unscrewed. Let us know how you resolved the cracking or popping noise from the Pro model built-in speakers.


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